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How to reduce abandoned carts?

How to reduce abandoned carts?


Faye Duncan


08 Sep 2022

Read time

4 Minutes



You’d be surprised at how many consumers abandon their shopping carts – It’s nearly seven out of 10 shoppers, with mobile users having an even higher rate of 85.65%. That’s huge, so reducing your abandoned cart rate should be a big focus to increase your conversion rate.

Let’s take a look at why consumers abandon their shopping carts and how you can create recovery campaigns to gain those sales.

What are abandoned carts?

An abandoned shopping cart is when a customer adds items to their basket, only to walk away before making the purchase. It can be incredibly frustrating for any business. It doesn’t matter how far they get in their journey, if they don’t complete the transaction, you’ll get £0.00, making all the effort you put into promoting your product a waste of time.

Why do consumers abandon shopping carts?

There are multiple reasons why someone might not complete the transaction. Some may even have had no intention to buy the items and were simply browsing as a pastime. These types of customers are probably a lost cause, but there are a few key reasons that you should be aware of to regain those genuine customers.

Poor checkout experience

One of the biggest reasons a customer may drop off at the checkout point is that the checkout page is poorly designed. For example:

  • Too busy with no clear call to action
  • Site speed is too slow
  • Not optimised for their device
  • Forcing customers to create an account
  • Requesting too much information

If your competitor has a better checkout page, it’s much easier and quicker for the consumer to buy from them instead. So, optimising the checkout page is just as important as the rest of the website.

Limited alternative payment methods

There are so many ways to make payments online these days on top of the major credit cards, including Apple Pay, PayPal and Buy Now Pay Later. Everyone is going to have their go-to method, so if you don’t offer the payment option they like to use, they’ll probably choose to shop elsewhere.

With Total Processing, you’ll have access to more than 198 alternative payments!

Lack of trust

There are a number of reasons why a customer may not trust your website, the above reasons for abandoned carts being a couple of them, but it could also be due to a lack of visible security features. To help gain trust you should make sure you are SSL certified, promote positive reviews and make use of well-known logos.

Shipping costs are too much

Have you been tempted to hide your shipping costs and any other fees until the last moment? You may think it will help to entice customers to add items to their shopping cart, only to have the opposite effect when it comes to the purchase.

Consumers like transparency. If you’re upfront about additional costs and avoid any nasty surprises, you could drastically reduce the amount that leaves without buying the goods.

How to recover abandoned carts

If all your efforts to improve your checkout experience still result in abandoned carts, all is not lost. There are a few marketing tips you can try to draw those customers back.

In fact, 70% of consumers are more likely to convert when retargeted after cart abandonment, so let’s take a look at the top strategies.

Abandoned cart email campaigns

You may have received a few of these yourself in the past. They’re essentially a reminder to the customer that their items are still waiting for them, just in case they forgot or ran out of time to complete the purchase. Knowing their basket has been saved for them offers great customer service and can help to build trust. The personal touch can encourage consumers to choose you over a competitor too.

There are so many different A/B tests you can do to work out the best approach for your business, so here are a few things to consider:

  • Engaging subject lines using their name, questions, emojis, etc.
  • A clear call to action
  • The timing after the cart has been abandoned; the first email should be sent within an hour
  • Personalised content, including the products they’re interested in and reference whether they’re a first-time or returning customer
  • Segmented campaigns for further personalisation

It could convert 15% of your abandoned carts, so it’s worth doing.

Retargeting ads

Although retargeting ads can cost more than traditional display ads, their conversion rate is much higher to make it worth the spend. Statistically, 30% of non-converting shoppers will return to complete the purchase from retargeting ads. There’s so much you can do with them too!

Data is your best friend when it comes to this strategy, and there’s so much available for you to know your customer and be able to create personalised ads that work.

Optimise for a specific channel – It’s unlikely you’ll want to use the same ads on social media as you would on a news website, like BBC. Tailoring your ads to the platform they will appear on can help to target the market more effectively.

Campaigns with a relevant message – Altering the message on your ads can also help to target the consumer. Their shopping behaviour can help you decide on which kind of message they need, including the type of shopper they are, the item they were interested in and when they dropped off your website.

Segment your customers – There is a range of ways you can build segments to create more relevant ads, including their sale history, order value and product they’re interested in. That way you can show them relevant products at the right price point, offer them suitable offers and have a personalised message. For example, acknowledging that the customer has shopped with you before with a loyalty discount code can make them feel valued and be more likely to convert.

Discount codes

Who doesn’t love a discount? They are a great way to draw your customers back in if they weren’t 100% convinced to complete the transaction. Whether it’s a percentage off their first purchase, money off for being a loyal customer, free shipping or a free additional item added to the basket, discounts often work a treat.

Free shipping

Even if you’re upfront about your shipping costs, a customer may still change their mind at the last minute when they see the total bill. In fact, 61% of consumers are “at least somewhat likely” to cancel their entire purchase if free shipping isn’t involved. Although your net profit may not leave room to offer free shipping to everyone, there are a couple of things you can do to try and get that conversion.

Free shipping code – You could offer a free shipping code just to those who have abandoned their cart. They would receive it in their automatic abandoned cart email to encourage them back to your website.

Free shipping threshold – If a customer is just a few pounds off the minimum spend they’ll often buy more just to get the free shipping.  There may be a bit of trial and error to work out what threshold works for both profits and conversions, but it’s worth it if it means the customer will click buy!

So, if you try all of these techniques, you could convert a good chunk of your abandoned carts.

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